Miami Marlins fans likely figured that the team's lone All-Star, rookie starting pitcher Jose Fernandez, would not make an appearance in tonight's 2013 MLB All-Star Game. After all, Fernandez just pitched on Saturday and it is well-known that the Marlins want to limit his innings this season. Since previous Marlins All-Star representatives have rarely gotten on the field from the bench, it was a reasonable assumption that Fernandez's introduction before the game was going to be his sole appearance (barring some wild celebration on the bench, as he did here).
But it turns out National League manager Bruce Bochy had other plans. In the sixth inning, Bochy inserted Fernandez to pitch an inning, and he put him in one of the toughest spots in the American League All-Star lineup. Robinson Cano had left the game earlier following a hit-by-pitch, so Dustin Pedroia had taken his spot batting second. Fernandez would come up against the trio of Pedroia, Miguel Cabrera, and Chris Davis.
Fernandez did not disappoint against some of the best hitters in baseball, including the very best in the game. He started off striking out Pedroia on a called strike, a 2-2 fastball at 96 mph right down the middle of the plate. He went ahead 0-2 on Cabrera before getting him to pop out to first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. Fernandez then finished the trifecta by getting Davis to chase a number of changeups and an in-the-dirt curveball for his second strikeout of the game.
Fernandez's stellar inning was overshadowed by an interview with Pittsburgh Pirates closer and former Marlins Jason Grilli, but otherwise it was a spectacular national debut for a pitcher who should get plenty of recognition in the future if his career is as bright as it was tonight.